It was heartwarming to see Matt Kenseth in Victory Lane at Phoenix after his next to the last race (so far as we know). I never considered Matt one of "my" drivers but I always liked him a lot and it seemed that most people did. By sharing his final year with Dale Earnhardt, he got left out of most of the celebratory kudos - the giant "thank you" banners and good-byes painted onto the grass. .Of course, I guess in a way that was sort of fitting since low-key was always Matt's style. That lack of public outpouring was also contributed to because Matt's departure was not voluntary. There was no big announcement as there was with Jeff, Tony and Junior. We didn't know until the last that there would be no chair left when the music stopped. I'm especially sympathetic because I think he got a raw deal. This season wasn't especially good for the 20 but I don't think it had anything to do with the driver's ability.
I don't usually think this way but it was also satisfying to see Chase bump Denny into the wall, spoiling the 11's championship hopes. What goes around, comes around, Denny. And you certainly didn't endear yourself to all those Junior fans who'll probably make Chase the Most Popular Driver next year.
The Phoenix race was rather blah during the first two-thirds but it got exciting nearer the end with some hard racing.
My favorite track is Homestead. It brings back good feelings because I saw Jimmie win his fifth championship there but no matter if the results please you, it is a gorgeous place to be in November.
I have mixed emotions about Homestead this year. On the one hand, I want to see Martin Truex, Jr win because he's the only one of the four who doesn't already have a championship. I always root for the underdog unless my guy is still in it (and yes, I know that's called hypocrisy!) On the other hand, I'd sort of like to see Ford win because they put so much into NASCAR and they've had a crappy last few years. And I'm also somewhat hypocritical in that I always root for the American car companies even though I know that no car company is strictly American or Japanese anymore. But I'm old and in my glory days, the great cars were Ford, Chevy, Dodge, Plymouth, Chrysler, Mercury.....so they still have my heart.
Seems as if the NASCAR sites are really pushing the Kyle Busch/Brad Keselowski feud. Even though Kyle said, "you just don't like some guys," meaning Brad, I doubt if this will amount to anything. They are both running for a championship, the ultimate prize, and I doubt if either of them would be stupid enough to get in a tangle with one another and risk that trophy. .
I've decided after this year that I don't particularly care for stage racing but I think I'm in the minority and no one really cares what I think. Again, it is probably my age that makes me prefer a single race - start to finish.
So we're down to the last race and after Sunday, we are in to a long, cold NASCAR-less winter. Yuck! I hate this time of year!